And here we were, making a big stink about Treasury employees using taxpayer money to buy hoes.
From The Treasury:
Letter to the Editor: Deputy General Counsel Responds to Reports on Isolated Incidents of Misconduct at Treasury
In response to an article in The Hill about isolated incidences of misconduct at Treasury, Deputy General Counsel Christian A. Weideman submitted the below letter to the editor. Treasury’s Inspector General earlier today also released a statement, which can be found here.
July 16, 2012
The story in today’s edition of The Hill about Treasury Department Inspector General reports regarding employee misconduct—together with your reporter’s statements on television this morning—creates a misleading impression of widespread unethical behavior at this Department. This is simply not accurate.
Here are the facts. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released 11 investigative reports covering conduct that occurred as early as 2000. In four cases, the OIG concluded that there was no evidence to support the allegations. In one case, the misconduct was committed by a private citizen (a Treasury office was burglarized). That leaves six cases in question. Although any misconduct is unacceptable, this is a small number that does not fairly reflect a Department with tens of thousands of employees. None of the employees at issue were political appointees or senior officials, and there is absolutely no evidence of any pattern or trend.
Unfortunately, in all institutions of every size, there are some employees who act inappropriately. Treasury takes these matters very seriously and does not tolerate any misconduct. Treasury has an extensive ethics program, and senior leadership continually stresses the importance of integrity throughout the entire Department. Moreover, one of the core and routine functions performed by the OIG is to investigate allegations of employee misconduct. When allegations of wrongdoing arise, we work closely with the OIG to make sure that any allegations of improper conduct are investigated quickly and that those who have committed misconduct are disciplined pursuant to the law and Treasury rules.
Here, as your story notes, the OIG referred all six cases to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for potential criminal prosecution. As Treasury’s Inspector General also stated, however, the actions of a few should not tarnish the vast majority of employees who comply with government ethics laws. Accordingly, we believe that sensationalizing these reports—in an apparent effort to attract attention—is irresponsible and does a disservice to Treasury, the Inspector General, and the overwhelming majority of the Department’s employees, who serve the American people with professionalism, diligence, and integrity.
Christian A. Weideman
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And there you have it: much ado about nothing. Now if only the head of the US Treasury would be so kind as to advise if in his expert evaluation of the US Tax code, whether spending taxpayer money for recreational whore purposes amounts to a business expense, then no ends will be loose.